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Kiwi launches double-edged assault on Pikes Peak


Hyundai, Red Bull, and Rhys Millen Racing will attempt to set multiple world records at this year’s Pikes Peak International Hill climb in June

Kiwi Rhys Millen will compete in the unlimited class with the Hyundai-powered RMR PM580 purpose-built tube-framed race car, while Rhys’ father, Rod Millen, will compete in the 2WD production class with the Genesis Coupe race car. Both race cars use production engine blocks, heads, valve train from the Hyundai-developed Lambda V6 engine family as core building blocks for their phenomenal race-worthy performance and durability.

Pikes Peak International Hill Climb is the second oldest motorsports race in America, second only to the Indianapolis 500, and a long-standing tradition in Colorado Springs. First run in 1916, this year marks the 89th running of the thrilling “Race to the Clouds.” The race is run on a course with 156 turns that begins at 9,390 feet and finishes at the oxygen-starved 14,110-foot summit of Pikes Peak.         

Rhys formerly set a world record in the Genesis Coupe for the production-based 2WD class in 2009. The hill climb course was revised with significant increases in the ratio of tarmac to dirt for 2010, effectively reducing the time to the summit for all competitors.

“Breaking into the 9’s has been a dream of mine for the last 10 years,” said Rhys Millen, professional race driver and founder of Rhys Millen Racing. “With the precise technical adjustments we made to the PM580 this year, coupled with the increase in tarmac near the course summit, the prospect of another world record is better than ever. We plan on being the fastest car up the hill and getting the world record back in the family name, the Millen name.”

With more than 17 years of racing experience, Rhys Millen has established himself as one of the premier rally and drifting drivers in North America. Born in New Zealand in 1972, Rhys is the son of famed rally and off-road racer Rod Millen. Rhys joined Rod in the U.S. as a teenager and soon afterwards established himself as a racer by taking first place at the Pikes Peak Hill Climb in the Open Division and winning Rookie of the Year. He won the Formula Drift championship in 2005 and the Red Bull Drifting World Championship in 2008.

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